What did we want to know?
We wanted to find research evidence which considers how providers of initial teacher training might provide flexible and responsive training for trainee teachers.
Who wants to know?
It is important for the providers of initial teacher training to know how to provide training which is flexible and responsive to individual training needs. This is also of interest to the student and trainee teachers themselves, and to those who mentor them.
What did we find?
The review failed to find any research that explicitly considers how initial teacher training can be made responsive to the individual needs and experience of trainee teachers. The 24 studies included in the map all discuss issues and programmes relevant to the flexible provision of initial teacher training, but do not look at the question from a wider perspective.
The aspects of teacher training which featured most often in the studies were school experience (15 studies) and mentoring (9). The foci of other studies were feedback (5), HEI-based training (5) and needs assessment (4) with other foci featured in a smaller number of studies including training plans (3), portfolio/evidence (2) and knowledge audit (1).
Mentoring was the most frequently used tool for making training flexible and responsive to individual trainees’ needs (10 studies) but other methods included feedback (4), flexible routes into teaching (4) and individual action plans (2).
The research that has been found for this review tends to focus on small-scale interventions and is frequently conducted by academics writing up work that has been undertaken within their own institutions.
What are the implications?
There is little research evidence on the ‘how to’ of providing initial teacher training which is flexible and responsive training to trainees’ individual needs and thus further research needs to be commissioned in this important area.
How did we get these results?
The review mapped the findings from 24 studies from the UK, Australia, Europe and North America.
This report should be cited as: Graham-Matheson L, Connolly T, Robson S, Stow W (2006) A systematic map into approaches to making initial teacher training flexible and responsive to the needs of trainee teachers. Technical report. In: Research evidence in Education Library. London: EPPI Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London